UNITED ARAB CROATIA EMIRATES
THREE SUCCESSFUL YEARS WITH DIPLOMACY Diplomacy Diplomacy Diplomacy Diplomacy Diplomacy MAGAZINE
MAGAZINE SPRING 2017 – ISSUE 1
SPRING 2018 - ISSUE 3
AUTUMN 2017 – ISSUE 2
SUMMER 2018 - ISSUE 4
MAGAZINE AUTUMN 2018 - ISSUE 5
SHARED VALUES AND HUMAN RIGHTS INTERVIEW WITH THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR FRANÇOIS ZIMERAY
FIGHTING FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS
BERTEL HAARDER: THE MP WHO HAS SEEN IT ALL
REDISCOVERING A JOINT HERITAGE
INTERVIEW WITH THE UAE AMBASSADOR HE FATEMA KHAMIS ALMAZROUEI
INTERVIEW WITH DANISH FOREIGN MINISTER ANDERS SAMUELSEN
INTERVIEW WITH THE POLISH AMBASSADOR DR HENRYKA MOŚCICKA-DENDYS
COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AMBASSADORS IN DENMARK
COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AMBASSADORS IN DENMARK
FROM FOREIGN MINISTER TO PRESIDENT OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY 1
COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AMBASSADORS IN DENMARK
• DANISH PM'S GLOBAL OUTLOOK • THAILAND'S NEW AMBASSADOR • CROWN PRINCE TURNS 50 COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AMBASSADORS IN DENMARK
• COMPETITION COMMISSIONER VESTAGER ON FAIRNESS FOR ALL • INTERVIEW WITH THE SLOVENIAN AMBASSADOR COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AMBASSADORS IN DENMARK
Diplomacy Diplomacy Diplomacy Diplomacy MAGAZINE
WINTER 2018 - ISSUE 6
SPRING 2019 - ISSUE 7
• THE AUSTRALIAN AMBASSADOR ON INTEGRATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS
• THE GERMAN AMBASSADOR ON BEING AT THE HEART OF EUROPE
• MEET DENMARK'S NEW NATO AMBASSADOR
• CONNIE HEDEGAARD: STILL CARRYING THE CLIMATE TORCH
• DENMARK'S FIRST ASTRONAUT COMES DOWN TO EARTH
• THE DANISH DIVER WHO BECAME AN UNLIKELY HERO
COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AMBASSADORS IN DENMARK
COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AMBASSADORS IN DENMARK
SUMMER 2019 - ISSUE 8
• THE ROMANIAN AMBASSADOR TALKS ABOUT THE EU AND PROMOTING HIS COUNTRY • OSCE: HELPING TO KEEP EUROPE SAFE • PRINCE JOACHIM AT 50
COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AMBASSADORS IN DENMARK
MAGAZINE AUTUMN 2019
• NIGERIEN AMBASSADOR AMADOU TCHEKO ON HIS NEW ROLE AS DEAN OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AMBASSADORS IN DENMARK
Next issue March 2020. International House Copenhagen • Gyldenløvesgade 11, 1.sal • 1600 Copenhagen V www. cphpost.dk • Info: firstname.lastname@example.org • Tel: +452420 2411
Dear Readers, I am honoured to present this special supplement in The Copenhagen Post at the beginning of the year 2020 to mark the beginning of Croatia’s first presidency of the Council of the European Union – 6.5 years after becoming an EU Member State on 1 July 2013. As a facilitator of a bit of Croatian exposure in Denmark, this supplement offers opportunities to discover more about my country. You’ll learn about the history of the Croatian nation and also the Republic of Croatia, the modern, democratic country that numerous Danes have visited and already know very well. This supplement is coming out around about the time that Croatia marks its Day of its International Recognition – on 15 January, which is also the date of the completion of the peaceful reintegration of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and West Srijem. To mark that important date, the landmark monument of Hans Christian Andersen was decorated with a Cravat tie, as Copenhagen joined many capitals in the EU Member States in learning the story of the origins of the fashion item – namely that Croatia is the homeland of the Cravat and that it was Croatian soldiers who wore a version of it while fighting in the 30 Years’ War (16181648). Hans Christian Andersen wearing a Cravat is also a way of showing a Croatian-Danish connection in the art of fairy-tale writing, which you can learn about in this supplement as well.
to the achievements of the world, without the world being aware that they are, for example, using a product of Croatian origin. The supplement will introduce some of these world-known Croats to you.
Here, you will also find out that the Croatian Presidency of the EU Council was launched from the very heart of the city of Copenhagen at City Hall: firstly with the Cravat adorning HC Andersen, and then with a joint photoexhibition of EU Ambassadors in Denmark as well. The interactive project, on my initiative under EU2020HR, of the photo exhibition ‘Denmark Through the Eyes of EU Ambassadors’ is a showcase of Croatia’s leadership of a strong and united EU in Copenhagen, since my colleagues from all EU Members States residential in Denmark have contributed to the exhibition.
In conclusion, I hope you will be inspired to visit Croatia and get first-hand experiences of its natural beauty, diverse culture and traditions, as well as a taste of the hospitality of its people, just while glancing through the supplement.
Croatia is known for its natural beauty and for being successful at sports, but it is also worth knowing that, with their inventions, some of its countrymen have contributed
Furthermore, this supplement will also be a good opportunity to announce some other Croatian activities, which will take place by the end of the Croatian EU Council Presidency on 30 June 2020. In that period we intend to show more of the Croatian contemporary scene – namely, design, modern dance and film.
Tina Krce Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the Kingdom of Denmark
PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EU
MEDIATOR, INITIATOR, FACILITATOR Croatia is well placed, both geographically and technologically, to play key roles during its Presidency of the Council of the EU By Roselyne Min At a presentation of Croatia’s priorities upon its accession to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (eu2020.hr), which was held at the Langelinie Pavillonen on January 15, Ambassador Tina Krce paid a glowing tribute to her country’s fast-growing status in the union. “Thirty years ago, Croatia was not even on the map,” she enthused. “Now we are leading the Council of the EU.”
Croatia became a member of the EU in 2013 – the latest country to join. And now, just seven years later, it is taking the lead role in the Council of the EU at the turn of an exciting new decade In fact, the event at Langelinie Pavillonen marked the 28th anniversary of Croatia’s official recognition by the EU – on 15 January 1992, a date known in the country as the Day of International Recognition.
“When you think of the fact, that only 30 years ago, Croatia was not on the political map of the world and that at the onset of the statehood my country was an object on the international agenda, holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU also means a completion of the transition into an engaged subject in the international arena,” added Ambassador Krce.
WORK TO BE DONE!
In accordance with the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, Presidency of the Council of the EU countries work in trios, and Croatia is setting out to complete the work started by Romania and Finland. Taking over from Finland was therefore more of a family affair than it would have been had Croatia been the first of the trio. “Big issues are unfinished yet; some things are hard to complete for a tiny northern country – but we tried!” commented Vesa Vasara, the Finnish Ambassador to Denmark, in a humorous and commemorative speech delivered at the start of the proceedings. “I would like to show sincere and genuine support.” Stina Soewarta, the Head of the European Commission Delegation to Denmark, supported the Croatian Ambassador’s upcoming journey while highlighting the importance of the current challenges. She believes the European Commission should take an overarching view for the green transformation of Europe in collaboration with Croatia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU – as well as geopolitical challenges. She also emphasised that her name ‘Stina’ in the Dalmatian dialect means rock/stone.
TASTE OF CULTURE
Looking ahead, the Croatian Embassy in Denmark is organising several events to mark its Presidency of the Council of the EU. The first has already been held. A large gathering marked the opening of the photo exhibition ‘Denmark Through the Eyes of EU Ambassadors’ – a collection of photos chosen by EU embassies in Denmark to mark the uniqueness of their host country - at City Hall on January 23. “With this exhibition, Croatia is showing its leadership of a strong EU in Copenhagen, as well as a bit of creativity. It also shows what we can do when we use our creativity. You know, sometimes we Croats joke that the word creativity comes from CROativity,” commented Ambassador Krce at the opening. Photo: Hasse Ferrold
“It also means we are in dialogue with our host country – we interact with the country. The views of Denmark in this exhibition are very unique.”
Ambassador Tina Krce at Langelinie Pavillonen on January 15
More events showcasing Croatian culture are planned for later in its Presidency of the Council of the EU, including an exhibition of Croatian modern design in May, a Croatian movie evening with Zlatko Burić and a modern-dance performance.
PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EU
ROBUST PILLARS Croatia has set four pillars to support its fundamental goal, ‘A strong Europe in a world of challenges’. The pillars are ‘A Europe that develops’, ‘A Europe that connects’, ‘A Europe that protects’, and ‘An influential Europe’. And the next six months are expected to bring many challenges – particularly in relation to Brexit, climate change, migration, Multi-annual Financial Framework and the conference on the Future of Europe. “The overall slogan of the Croatian Presidency of the EU Council, ‘A strong Europe in a world of challenges’, is like sailing when the sea is a bit rough and the wind is strong,” said Ambassador Krce.
‘A EUROPE THAT DEVELOPS’
For Croatia, holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU means an opportunity to contribute to ensuring better conditions and prospects for all European citizens through balanced and sustainable growth. This includes fostering balanced regional development, cultivating a more satisfied and vibrant society, enhancing the competitiveness and skills of our citizens, and protecting the environment by fighting climate change.
‘A EUROPE THAT CONNECTS’
Only a strong Europe can respond to the challenges of the 21st century world. A Europe that connects is one that has a network economy and uses its Ambassador Krce attaching a cravat to HC Andersen outside City Hall on January 13
Photo: Hasse Ferrold
“What you need to do then is set the sails right and in a good direction, so that the power of the wind helps you
sail and reach your destination/goal.”
full potential. The keys to achieving that kind of Europe are a European transport area, high-quality and secure data infrastructure, and an integrated energy market. All this will result in stronger cohesion and co-operation among the citizens of the Union.
Photo: Hasse Ferrold
‘A EUROPE THAT PROTECTS’
In order to achieve our goals, it is first and foremost necessary to protect our citizens. A safer Europe guarantees the freedom of every citizen as a pillar of democratic society and internal security. Ambassador Krce with her Finnish counterpart, Vesa Vasara, and EC delegation head Stina Soewarta, on January 15
Croatia will also advocate a comprehensive and sustainable migration policy. The European Union must show its strength and respond to current threats to the rule of law and democratic values, from intolerance and terrorism to cyber threats and ‘fake news’ (disinformation) on digital platforms.
‘AN INFLUENTIAL EUROPE’
Croatia will stand for the Union taking a leading role on the international stage.
Photo: Hasse Ferrold
The EU is a global leader and trading power – the top trading partner of the United States, China, Russia and many other countries and organisations. This position needs to be used to expand the EU’s influence, to shape the global order, to eradicate poverty and to stimulate global development.
Ambassador Tina Krce at City Hall on January 23
Croatia has a special responsibility to its southeastern neighbourhood to encourage reform and be a factor of stability. Surce: eu2020.hr CROATIA SUPPLEMENT
PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EU
MAKING A DIFFERENCE As a southeastern European country that has joined the EU and as a frontrunner of smart solutions, there couldn’t be a better choice to oversee some of the EU’s most pressing matters at hand.
HISTORIC SUMMIT IN MAY
Bringing together many European heads of government and state, the next EU-West Balkans summit is scheduled to take place in Zagreb in May. The holder of the Presidency of the Council of the EU could not have been a better choice, as Croatia neighbours three of the interested Western Balkan countries – Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro – and is the EU member that will be most directly affected by any EU enlargement in the region.
Photo: Arvid Olson / Pixabay
Croatia has declared its support for EU enlargement and it will accordingly play a crucial role in mediating as the summit bids to reach a consensus. It can be a role model as the latest state to join the union as well as represent the practical obstacles facing the nations applying for the
membership. “As Croatia’s Prime Minister often says: Croatia has gained the biggest and most recent knowledge of the enlargement – us being the last to join,” commented Ambassador Krce. “The Zagreb summit in May 2020 on the Western Balkans has political leverage – it will determine the approach of the EU towards Croatia’s neighbourhood for a longer period of time.”
SMART: BY NATURE AND NEIGHBOURHOOD
In March 2017, Croatia’s Adriatic islands signed the Smart Islands Declaration at the European Parliament. The initiative is part of the European Commission’s Smart Cities and Communities initiative for developing smart solutions at a local level, which can introduce sustainable transport, whilst reducing and reusing waste, in the fight against climate change. Of the 16 European countries signed up to the initiative, including Denmark and Sweden – Croatia is one of the most
High-level meetings at Croatian National and University Library Split in Zagreb engaged members, and the University of Zagreb has taken a leading role in the project. Croatia has so far encouraged 11 public authorities, four academic institutions and eight civil society players to get involved. Meanwhile, to support Smart Cities, Croatia has launched ‘Smart Grid’, a digital electricity distribution network that promotes smart lighting, smart mobility and decarbonisation. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund Grant Agreement to the tune of 30 million euros, Dubrovnik is among the beneficiaries – new LED lamps will cut down its street lighting needs by 90 percent, while 100 electric scooters will cut down transport emissions.
PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EU
SHINING A LIGHT
Photo: Borko Vukosav / Rijeka 2020
By happy coincidence, one of the country’s most historically significant cities is also set to enjoy a resplendent 2020 – with such focus on Croatia, this could turn out to be the dawn of a new age for the country.
THE CITY THAT NEVER GIVES IN
Some 160 km away from the capital, Rijeka is a Croatian port city located in the corner of the Adriatic Sea, commonly regarded as a gateway to the Croatian islands. As one of this year’s two European Capitals of Culture (rijeka2020.eu), Rijeka will offer an extensive year-round cultural program from February 2020 to January 2021.
THROUGH SPACE AND TIME
Expect festivals, exhibitions, conferences, performance shows including opera, concerts by both international and Croatian artists, grass roots projects, the installation of sculptures,
artist Jan Lauwers and Greek choreographer Andonis Fondianakis.
The city’s spaces will be re-imagined. The former Rikard Benčić factory, for example, will be transformed into The City Museum of Rijeka, the Rijeka City Library and the Children’s House.
‘Kitchen of Diversity’ addresses issues of migration and minorities within gastronomy and art. For example, Romani people and individuals with disabilities have been invited to participate in plays at the national theatre, while the phenomenon of Afrofuturism will be discussed as a political and cultural movement.
And a cultural tourism route is also being prepared, which will include 17 castles and religious sites, focusing on the journey of the Frankopans, one of the country’s most distinguished noble families.
Find out more at rijeka2020.eu.
ECLECTIC AND ELECTRIC
The cultural program consists of seven intertwined thematic segments, which have each been designed in co-operation with domestic and foreign partners. In order to highlight the connectivity within Europe, one of the flagships, ‘27 Neighbourhoods’, matches 27 member states of the EU with 27 villages or towns in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, where Rijeka is located.
Photo: Borko Vukosav / Rijeka 2020
The Rijeka 2020 cultural and artistic program consists of three themes – water, work and migration – that couldn’t be more apt. First off, ‘rijeka’ means ‘river’, and if its waters weren’t enough, it is one of the rainiest cities in the region. Furthermore, due to its location Rijeka has been part of seven different countries in the past century alone!
book promotions, and meet-and-greets with the citizens of Rijeka.
‘Times of Power’ is an exhibition program that showcases the dynamic history of Rijeka. The city has survived countless occupations and changes of leadership, and ‘power’ is a key theme in the exhibitions, dance, music and performances, featuring the likes of Belgian CROATIA SUPPLEMENT
A HISTORY TOLD
THROUGH THE EYES OF A FRIEND In almost every Croatian milestone over the last three decades, Denmark has played some sort of role: from supporting its EU accession to getting beaten on the football field By Ben Hamilton Denmark wasn’t there at the beginning – or was it? Croatia’s ‘Big Bang’ occurred when Illyrian tribes settled in the area around three millennia ago. The Histri gave their name to the region of Istria and the Delmati to Dalmatia. The Greeks (from the 4th century BC) and the Romans (1st century AD) left their mark – in fact, Emperor Diocletian (284-286) was born in Salona native and built a palace in Split – before the area was settled by Croatian tribes in the 7th century. In 925 Croatia was united, and it remained a separate kingdom when it became part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1091, where it remained until World War I. Chopping and changing ensued and, by the end of World War II, it was part of a new country, Yugoslavia.
It is at the end of the Yugoslavian chapter, and the birthplace of modern Croatia, that Denmark makes its first appearance. Assigned to the country in 1992 as part of UNPROFOR, the UN peacekeeping units during the Yugoslav Wars becomes in the 1990s, Danish troops played a key role in efforts to minimise the humanitarian consequences of the conflict. Denmark was one of the first countries to recognise Croatia (Slovenia was the first) – less than a year after it declared its independence – and that process more or less started when it started receiving Balkans wishing to escape the wars. “Those who fled the war in the former Yugoslavia had to declare themselves either Croat, Serbian or Bosnian etc,” writes the historian Jeppe Wedel-Brandt.
ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD
As a new country Croatia faced the challenges of post-war reconstruction, but some respite from the hard work involved in its general social and economic development came in 1996 – and Denmark, once again, was involved. Several great Croatian players had been denied participation in Euro 1992 due to the outbreak of the war including Robert Prosinečki, Davor Šuker, Alen Bokšić and Robert Jarni – to Denmark’s benefit as it replaced Yugoslavia and went on to win the tournament. Four years later, the whole nation was watching as Croatia took on Denmark, the usurpers who had taken their crown – and in their pulsating 3-0 victory, Šuker’s divine chip over Peter Schmeichel will live long in the memory! Handball too has offered some exhilarating fixtures over the years – particularly in the days of Ivan Balic, who Mikkel Hansen succeeded as the world’s best player – and Croatian hearts were broken when they lost to Denmark in the final of Euro 2008 (although the bragging rights are theirs again after a silver this year!). But was Croatia bitter? Not at all, as that summer a Croatian sailing pair lent Danish duo Jonas Warrer and Martin Kirketerp Ibsen their boat to compete in the medal race of the 49ers – and ultimately win gold.
A few years followed, with both countries firmly established as friends – a Croatian art exhibition in Copenhagen, ‘Euro 2020’, caused a stir with its prescient outlook as the new century came
“The Yugoslav identity was not accepted by the Danish authorities, even though it was exactly that type of identification that was part of the reason for fleeing in the first place.” Full liberation came to Croatia first in 1995, following a decisive victory in what is now known as the Croatian Homeland War, and then in 1998 after the UNTAES peace-building mission was completed. Today, as an active member of the UN peacekeeping forces, its troops have served alongside Danes – in countries such as Afghanistan.
of Diocletian Emperor Diocletian’s PalacePalace in Split
– and Denmark offered substantial support in 2005 to Croatia’s efforts to develop its public administration. Croatia was in no doubt of what it had to do to join the EU, and Denmark gave its backing as it joined NATO (2009), as well as the Partnership for Peace (2000) and WTO (both 2000), amended its constitution to reduce presidential powers (2000-01), signed Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU (2001), submitted a formal application for the EU membership (2003) and began accession negotiations (2005). In a 2012 referendum, the country voted to join the EU, and it officially joined on 1 July 2013.
THE CONNECTION CONTINUES
A state visit by the Danish queen in 2014 cemented relations further – the president at the time, Ivo Josipović, received the Order of the Elephant – and it is interesting to note that Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the president since 2017, worked with former PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his time as secretary-general of NATO – where she worked in the role of assistant secretary-general for public diplomacy. Denmark’s chance of revenge for Euro 1996, meanwhile, came in 2018 as the countries met in the last 16 of the World Cup, but it was not to be, with the Croatians once again prevailing – this time via penalties. Croatia made the most of their luck by advancing to the final, demonstrating just how far this young, but historic country had come less than three decades after its birth.
CAPITALISING ON CROATIAN CREATIVITY From Carlsberg to Rockwool, Danish companies are not shying away from investment By Valmira Gjoni Croatian market, employing over 300 people and producing upwards of 12 million litres of beer every month. Internationally-known brands such as Carlsberg, Tuborg, Grimbergen, Holsten and Somersby are produced there, as well as the local brand Pan, which was established in 1971 and taken over by Carlsberg in 1997. Carlsberg Croatia has evolved to the point that it also manages the Hungarian and Slovenian markets.
NOT BLOWING HOT AIR
In 2018, Croatia was one of the few markets in which Carlsberg used unique cars to begin testing ‘Zero’, a new innovative system that aims to curb drink driving.
Croatia may not traditionally be a mecca for Danish investment, but thanks to rapid development, an accommodating business environment and a keener eye on sustainability, the situation has been changing in recent years. From pharma and manufacturing to brewing and green tech, there are ample examples of increasing number of Danish companies embracing the innovative and flourishing Croatian business environment.
KILLING IT IN KOPRIVNICA
The system consists of a motor-linked breathalyser that prevents ignition in the case of alcohol consumption. The car fails to start if the person blowing has a blood alcohol level above the limit. The goal of Carlsberg Croatia is to have 95 percent of its official cars fitted with the breathalyser.
INVESTMENT IN ISTRIA
Stone wool insulation producer Rockwool has also found a solid footing in Croatia since entering the market in 2006 – investing 110 million euros into a new plant.
Brødrene Hartmann, one of the world’s leading manufacturers for producing moulded fibre packaging for various food and industrial products, has encountered great success in Croatia.
Headquartered in Potpićan in Istria, the Danish company’s subsidiary Rockwool Adriatic employs about 160 people.
In 1999, the firm acquired Bilokalnik d.o.o and set up shop in Koprivnica, where its new 24 million kroner production line in the city produces around 220 million units annually. In fact, 95 percent of its raw materials are purchased from the Croatian market.
Last year was the best ever for the company in Croatia, and it was recently granted a licence to recycle used stone wool in the country following significant investment.
Employing almost 200 people in Croatia, the company’s sustainable outlook led to it becoming a member of the Croatian Council for Sustainable Development (HRPSOR) in 2006.
FINDING ZEN IN ZAGREB
BREWING UP A STORM
Danish brewery giant Carlsberg has been in Koprivnica even longer, since setting up shop in the 1990s in a strategy bid to expand to other parts of the world.
Novo shelled out over 10 million kroner for a new research & development site in Zagreb recently, and it is no coincidence that the Croatian capital was a priority.
Its brewery in the northern city is one of the biggest in the
“The impressive skill set of experts –
Danish life science investor Novo Holdings has been involved in Croatia for several years now – ever since obtaining Xellia Pharmaceuticals in 2013.
specialist Croatian scientists in what is a highly technical field – made Zagreb a natural choice for the base, which will now extend this key facility,” said Steen Riisgaard, the chair of Xellia.
RIPE FOR INVESTMENT
In short, ample Danish companies have identified Croatia as a promising market – and why wouldn’t they? A recent Huffington Post article listed seven key reasons why the Croatia is considered a good investment possibility. Not only does the country possess a highlyeducated, innovative and multilingual workforce, it is geographically central in Europe, has modern infrastructure – including seven international airports – and high tourist numbers. But perhaps most importantly, the country has embraced more pro-business legislation in recent years. Few barriers exist for foreign investors, and Croatia offers appealing tax incentives to a number of countries. Like in the rest of the EU, customs duty is zero percent in Croatia. It is also highly digitalised and has a thriving IT sector. In fact, foreign direct investment in Croatia in 2016 amounted to 1.7 billion euros – an astounding nine-fold increase compared to the year before.
The country is also increasingly turning toward sustainability: another incentive for trailblazing Danish green tech companies to gain a foothold in the market. An example of this is the Smart Islands Initiative, which addresses circularity in the economy by transforming islands so they can carry out a sustainable management of natural resources. The Croatian island of Krk is among ten energy-sustainable islands across Europe embracing sustainable energy solutions to reach a zero CO2 emission goal. Through embracing wind, solar, biogas energy, electric cars and bike-sharing initiatives, Krk is well on its way towards reaching its goal. CROATIA SUPPLEMENT
CULTURE SPANNING THE CENTURIES: FROM THE CROATIAN ANDERSEN TO E.R. By Ben Hamilton
Ogulin native Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić (18741938) is Croatia’s answer to HC Andersen and often compared to him – so much so that she is often called ‘Croatian Andersen’. Married at 18, the mother of six and fourtime Nobel Prize for Literature nominee’s first noted children’s literature work was published in 1913, but it is probably for her 1916 work, ‘Croatian Tales of Long Ago’ (‘Priče iz davnine’), which she is best remembered and frequently compared to Andersen. Like the Dane’s work, her stories were original but rooted in folklore; she took names and motifs from the Slavic mythology her fellow Croats grew up with. A 1990 film adaptation of ‘The Marvellous Adventures and Misadventures of Hlapić the Apprentice’ is Croatia’s most popular ever movie at the cinema.
Just days from now, the collective Dolby audience at the Oscars will take a deep inhalation of breath when they realise one of their own passed away in November. Croatia double Oscar-winning producer Branko Lustig (1932-2019) won for ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Schindler’s List’ – a film that meant so much to him as he spent two years in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and on the day of his liberation he weighed less than 30 kilos. Lustig produced several other films, including ‘American Gangster’, ‘Black Hawk Down’ and TV series ‘The Winds of War’.
How Meštrović imagined Adam
Described by Auguste Rodin as “the greatest phenomena among the sculptors” of his time, Croatian designer Ivan Mestrovic (1883-1962) was a brave, outspoken voice during a time of great change, whose career spanned six decades and almost as many continents. For a good example of the Vrpolje native’s work, check out ‘The Bowman’ and ‘The Spearman’, two outdoor bronze statues outside Congress Plaza in Chicago.
Nemon up close with Queen Elizabeth II
10 CROATIA SUPPLEMENT
FILM & MUSIC
The career of Osijek native Oscar Nemon (1906-1985) really took off after he moved to Britain in the 1930s, eventually obtaining citizenship nine years later. As well as sculpting the British queen and most of her family, he also depicted two US presidents – Dwight D Eisenhower and Harry S Truman – and three British PMs: Harold Macmillan, Margaret Thatcher and, on more than a dozen occasions, Winston Churchill. Among his other famous subjects were Princess Marie Bonaparte, a great-grandniece of the emperor, Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, and Sigmund Freud and his dog Topsy.
Goran Višnjić Croatia’s answer to George Clooney is ER actor Goran Višnjić (born 1972). The Šibenik native’s character Dr Luka Kovač joined at the start of season six, just a handful of episodes after Clooney’s. Dark, tall and handsome, Višnjić helped alleviate the void, and he quickly became a female fans’ favourite, not least when he recited part of the ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy in Croatian. The scene had extra meaning to Višnjić as his big break came in 1994 when a fellow Croat dropped out of the part of Hamlet on opening night in Dubrovnik. It led
to him landing a role in ‘Welcome to Sarajevo’ and stateside recognition. Outside of ER, Višnjić made the last four in the 2005 search for a new James Bond, and more recently he played inventor Nikola Tesla in ‘Doctor Who’.
Rade Šerbedžija Croatian actor Rade Šerbedžija played the wandmaker Gregorovitch in the seventh Harry Potter film, and also had a memorable role as Boris the Blade in ‘Snatch’. But he is perhaps best known for two TV roles: as Dmitri Gredenko, a renegade former Soviet general, in ‘24’, and as Prince Kuragin, a former lover of Dowager Countess Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith), in ‘Downton Abbey’.
Eurovision winners Croatia has never won Eurovision, but Zadar native Emilija Kokić and the five other Croat members of the band Riva did win the competition for Yugoslavia in 1989 with the song ‘Rock Me’. Eurovision 1990 was then held in Zagreb. Kokić, meanwhile, has never represented Croatia. The closest she came was finishing sixth in the national competition in 2008.
ZLATKO BURIĆ: ACTOR, MUSICIAN, FREE SPIRIT, CROAT
Zlatko Burić is Denmark’s most famous Croatian expat. At 67, the tall man with the deep voice and the strong accent is a dual citizen of many experiences and a great deal of knowledge. “I don’t want to speak in clichés and I would rather tell the big story by painting small pictures of life,” he said and, in line with this principle, here are a collection of windows offering glimpses into a much larger house – of a much longer story. A longer version of the interview will appear online. Where were you born?
So, Lars knocks on our door and tells us he got our address from a friend of Miljenko’s. We were like ‘Great – then you’re our friend as well!’ This is how the hitchhiking network operated back then: you travelled, you met people and you gave them your address in case they came to your country sometime. Lars was going to stay a night but ended up staying a month.
didn’t know how this famous musician knew the guy who cleans the piss off the toilets. But not long before I moved to Denmark, he’d guested for our music theatre group performing in New York. Now in Denmark, I didn’t even have money to see his concert. The status I had in Croatia (or in the US as a Croatian artist) and that in Denmark were completely different.
Later, in 1975, my girlfriend and I went to work a summer job as students in Sweden. On our way home, we stopped in Denmark. Lars was in France because he was dating a French girl by then, but his dad met us and took us to an S-train, dragging his bike along, and explained where we needed to go. We ended up in a collective in Rødovre, where we lived for about a month with some of Lars’ friends. That kind of a family structure and openness was completely a shock for me back then. It wasn’t just the hippies – Denmark was a very relaxed society overall.
You have three kids – do they speak Croatian?
You moved here for good in 1983 because your Danish ex-wife, Sonja, wanted to give birth here. What was your impression the second time around? We lived in Nørrebro, and I was astounded by how hard the lives of the working classes were back then. I didn’t know anybody in Nørrebro who had a bathroom – twice a week we’d go to the kommune’s public bath. I come from a working class family myself. But in Croatia people got apartments from the factory or institution they worked for, so neighbourhoods were more mixed – they weren’t as heavily dominated by one class as in Denmark.
I was born and raised in a city called Osijek by river Drava. At that time, it was a city of about 130 000 people, but it was ‘wow, the city’. There were Croats, Serbs, Germans, Hungarians and Jews living there. I remember the diversity of girls: Jewish Blanka, German Edna and so on. I’m joking a bit, but I mean this city was a place where different types of people met. On paper, I’m a pure Croat, but my mother, who was also a Croat on paper, was German really.
Also, industrialisation came much later to Yugoslavia, and this is the biggest difference – even today. People in Croatia have not lost the connection with their roots in the villages. They might live and work in the big cities, but they visit and cultivate the land they have out there. Agriculture was never really industrialised in Croatia.
How did you first end up in Denmark?
There was a time when I worked as a cleaner for Danmarks Radiohus. I remember feeling the job of a radio host was something unreachable for me. One day I went to go and clean the usual stains off the urinals and, as I was leaving, the head of the station came walking by with Charlie Morrow. The executive didn’t pay me any attention, but Charlie went: ‘Woah, heyyyy!’ and came up to me. The executive got very uncomfortable – he
A friend of mine and my girlfriend’s, Miljenko Mayer, the best guitar player we knew in Zagreb, went to Portugal to support the revolution and met some Danish anarchists. Let’s call one of them Bo (I don’t remember his actual name). Later, Bo wanted to travel and Miljenko gave him our address in Zagreb, which he then gave to Lars [actual name], another Dane who he met in Lebanon.
Did you struggle with the famous immigrant inferiority complex?
Da. They speak well. I spoke to them in Croatian consistently. And, when they were small, I read goodnight stories to them in Croatian. I also made them read books in Croatian. It was torture for them. And they know the culture. In the late ‘80s, we lived in Zagreb, so they actually started school in Croatia – we were there for about a year and a half. They also know all my friends, who are considered family – they are like uncles and aunts to my children. Also, my son passed a Croatian language test at the University of Zagreb and my daughter wrote her MA thesis in art history about Eastern European and Croatian art. So it’s not just a shallow acquaintance. Is your plan to stay in Denmark for good? Aaaah, I don’t know: don’t ask me this kind of a question! It’s very Se og Hør style. So in that vein: ‘I want to die near the Croatian sea! When I grow old I’ll buy a house close to the Danube and I’ll go out on the bank and a ship will sail by with Hungarian gypsies playing as I fall in the river and die.’ • Best known for playing Milo the Serbian drug lord in Nicolas Winding Refn’s cult film debut ‘Pusher’ and its two sequels • Founder of the Croatian avant-garde theatre group Kugla Glumiste • Performer in Telepatisk International Gruppe and ‘The Tiger Lillies Perform Hamlet’ • Degrees in both psychology and sociology • Most recently in ‘Dopunska Nastava’, which will be screened at Cinemateket in cooperation with the Croatian Embassy on March 3 • Recommended Croatian movies: ‘Takva su Pravila’ (2014), ‘Ne gledaj mi u Pjat’ (2016) and ’Zvizdan’ (2015) • Recommended places to visit: Klub Močvara rock club in Zagreb, the island of Mljet, and a walk through the Baranja region CROATIA SUPPLEMENT
CROATIA IN THE MODERN AGE: SPORTING SUCCESS AND SMART INITIATIVES By Ben Hamilton
Dražen Petrović As a star of the Yugoslavian national side, and all too tragically briefly for Croatia, the career of Dražen Petrović (1964-1993) boasted a haul of international medals and NBA fame with the New Jersey Nets, where he established himself as one of the league’s most feared shooting guards before inspiring Croatia to silver in its first ever Olympics in 1992. When the Šibenik native’s life abruptly ended a year later in a car crash on a German autobahn aged just 28, his team retired his jersey number. In a 2013 FIBA EuroBasket fans vote, ‘Petro’ was named the best ever European basketball player. When Goran Ivanišević won Wimbledon in 2001, he dedicated his triumph to Petrović, and in Zagreb his presence is everywhere: from the banners adorning his well-visited tomb, the stadium, square and streets that bear his name, and the Dražen Petrović Memorial Center, which opened in 2006. Among the memorabilia items is his famous No 3 shirt and the watch he was wearing that stopped when he died.
Luka Modrić Amid tough opposition, 2018 World Cup Golden Ball and Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modrić (born 1985) has established himself as his country’s most successful football player. At Real Madrid the Zadar native has won the Champions League three times, and two years ago he led his country to the World Cup final. The central midfielder is a master at winning back and retaining possession, a cultured passer and revered
playmaker – and his reading of the game is second to none. Slight of build, standing only 172cm tall, he credits his toughness to a loan spell early in his career: “Someone who can play in the Bosnian league can play anywhere.” Signed from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008 by Tottenham Hotspur, he was initially labelled too lightweight for England but by May 2011, he had changed everyone’s opinion, with Man United manager Alex Ferguson even naming him his player of the season. A year later, he joined Real Madrid and the rest is history.
Goran Ivanišević It might have not had the quality of Roger Federer’s mighty scraps with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, or the emotional intensity of Andy Murray’s triumph in 2013, but the most memorable Wimbledon men’s final in recent times came in 2001 when eternal bridesmaid Goran Ivanisevic (born 1971) finally prevailed. As the runner-up in 1992, 1994 and 1998, time was running out for the big-serving Split native, but in Pete Rafter he faced a first-time finalist who was there for the taking. Still it went to the wire, as the Australian pegged him back each time he went a set up, before eventually drawing level at 7-7 in the fifth. But as Goran finally got over the line, becoming the one and only wildcard to win a grand slam, Centre Court saluted its most popular men’s winner since the 1930s. As a coach, Ivanisevic guided Marin Čilić to the 2014 US Open, and with two recent wins in the Davis Cup under their belts, 2015 and 2018, Croatian tennis is currently a force to be reckoned with.
Ivan Mrvoš Few people in the know were surprised when Ivan Mrvoš, the 24-year-old founder of Include – which manufactures solar-powered ‘smart benches’ equipped for the Internet of Things, which can be incorporated into smart city initiatives – was aptly ‘included’ on the ’Forbes 30 Under 30’ list for the world’s leading entrepreneurs under the age of 30. The Solin-born entrepreneur, who grabbed headlines when he revealed he wanted to retire at the age of 30 (a joke he later revealed!), has plenty more up his sleeve in the area of smart benches, so watch this space!
Mate Rimac As a child growing up in the 1990s, Mate Rimac dreamed about building the world’s fastest car, and today, as the owner of Croatian company Rimac Automobili, he is one of the leading names in the field of electric supercars. In 2017, he was included in ‘Forbes 30 Under 30’. Rimac is responsible for a number of technological innovations, including iGlove, an electronic glove that replaces the keyboard and the mouse on computers, and a system that ensures there is no blind spot in rear-view mirrors. Rimac also owns the electric bike company Greyp Bikes – you might have seen one with enormously thick tyres whizzing past you in Copenhagen. In September, its G6 model was named Eurobike of the Year in the category ‘Mountainbikes’.
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In September 2019, Tesla confirmed it intends to open a store in Croatia this year to honour the birthplace of the inventor, Nikola Tesla, it is named after. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, said the company was “finally doing Nikola Tesla proud by having his cars in his countries of origin”. Nikola Tesla was raised in an ethnically Serbian family in the village of Smiljan in 1856, which is located in modern day Croatia. He eventually moved to the US in 1884 where he established himself as one of the biggest ever Mate Rimac name in the field of electricity.
INVENTIVE BY NATURE: FROM TORPEDOES TO TYING THE PERFECT CRAVAT By Ben Hamilton
Science and religion make strange bedfellows, so it’s hard to comprehend that a bishop from the Croatian city of Šibenik pretty much invented the parachute during the early 17th century, but that’s pretty much what Faust Vrančić (1551-1617) did. Back when Šibenik was part of the Venetian Republic, his upbringing was scholarly and he studied a broad range of sciences at university. Among his cronies was the esteemed Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, but science was mainly a hobby as he worked as a politician administrating Hungary and Transylvania, although he did have time to write numerous books, including a five-language dictionary. It was only in the last decade of his life that he started dedicating his time to science. His masterwork was ‘Machinae Novae’, a book of 49 large pictures depicting 56 different machines, devices, and technical concepts. One of these was ‘Homo Volans’, a forerunner of the parachute, but many of the others were equally pioneering, including depictions of solar energy, selfpowering boats, and suspension and truss bridges. According to some sources, Vrančić tested his parachute aged 64, jumping off St Mark’s Campanile in Venice, although it is not believed the experiment contributed to his death later that year! In 2012, the Faust Vrančić Memorial Centre opened on the island of Prvić – the island where Vrančić chose to be buried.
Ivan Vučetić (1858-1925), an anthropologist and police official who pioneered the use of fingerprinting in Buenos Aires in the 1890s, spent the first 24 years of his life in the Croatian rural town of Hvar. Inspired by British eugenicist Francis Galton, who first proposed the improbability that any two individuals would have the same fingerprints, Vučetić’s breakthrough came in 1892 when his analysis of a bloody fingerprint incriminated a mother who had blamed her children’s deaths on an intruder. His methods were quickly adopted by police forces all over the world.
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY Croatian-Swiss scientist Leopold Ružička (18871976), a pioneer in organic chemistry, was the joint winner of the 1939 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Born in Vukovar, where a museum was opened in his honour in 1977, he was an early pioneer in perfumery, and he played a key role in facilitating the extraction of musk from the anal glands of the male deer – an ingredient commonly regarded as a ‘base note’ in perfumery. In the 1930s, his lab in Zurich was regarded as the world centre of organic chemistry, and his Nobel Prize was largely awarded in recognition of his work synthesising sex hormones such as testosterone. Meanwhile, another Croatian-Swiss organic chemist, Vladimir Prelog (1906-1998), was the co-recipient of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research into the stereochemistry of organic molecules and reactions.
THE TORPEDO Born in the Croatian city of Rijeka in 1813, Giovanni Vukić (also Luppis – depending on what language you want to spell ‘wolf’ in!) was the driving force behind the Austro-Hungarian Navy’s development of the first self-propelled torpedo. Inspired by an officer who had proposed directing a small boat laden with explosives at an enemy vessel, Vukić’s first prototype was unmanned, one metre long and controlled via long ropes. It was a failure. And his second, which used a clock mechanism as the engine for the propeller, failed to convince higher command it was worth investing in. It took a complete redesign by British machine engineer Robert Whitehead who placed the torpedo underwater with an engine running on compressed air. The pair were in business, although Vukić never made much money from his invention. He did, however, receive the title Baron von Rammer from Kaiser Franz Josef – which means ‘the sinker’ – six years before his death in 1875.
THE CRAVAT As the name ‘cravat’ suggests, the neck-tie originated in Croatia. Nobody knows where. The neck-ties were first seen in Paris during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and generally credited to the arrival of the Croatian Light Cavalry. The soldiers wore vividlycoloured scarves around their necks as a part of their traditional costumes, and Parisians quickly referred to the accessory as tied in ‘la manière croate’ (the Croatian way), which evolved into cravat.
A TOP FIVE
THAT BROUGHT HITCHCOCK, BYRON AND GB SHAW TO THEIR KNEES By Valmira Gjoni
BEYOND THE PARADISE OF LAKES AND ISLANDS WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED, CROATIA IS RICH IN HISTORY, ARCHITECTURE AND CULTURE Whether it’s visiting the spectacular setting for ‘King’s Landing’ in Dubrovnik, navigating Adriatic waters along the Dalmatian Coast to the Mediterranean flower that is Split, exploring the Kornati Islands like Robinson Crusoe, or hiking through the watery wonderland of the Plitvicke Lakes – Croatia is a fascinating land emerging as one of Europe’s top destinations, which draws 20 million tourists every year. Boasting a long history of tourism – Alfred Hitchcock said of Zadar in 1964 that it has “the most beautiful sunset in the world”, which he “applauded every evening” – the crescent-shaped southern European country is a regular on bucket lists and at the top of travel lists the world over, long before it featured heavily in the globally popular ‘Game of Thrones’ series. So before you settle on a weekend in the capital Zagreb, be aware that there’s far more to Croatia than its cities, as the country is superbly rich in nature, boasting eight national parks and 1,244 islands, of which only 48 are inhabited.
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ON THE DRAGON’S TRAIL
There’s no better place to start exploring Croatia than at the southern tip of the country in the medieval fortified city of Dubrovnik. For eight seasons of ‘Game of Thrones’, its walls and forts provided the backdrop for King’s Landing, the capital of Westeros. But long before the dragon burnt it to a crisp, its popularity with tourists was huge thanks to glorious architecture that combines both Renaissance and Venetian Gothic styles. Both styles are present, for example, in the city’s main synagogue, which is the second oldest in Europe. British 19th century poet Lord Byron once referred to it as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. More off the touristy radar you’ll find the Neretva Valley, which is known locally as the ‘Valley of Life’ thanks to its rich natural diversity. Located an hour’s drive away from Dubrovnik, the valley is the perfect scene for some cycling, swimming or boating, while the area contains lots of old towns and villages worth a visit, including Opuzen, Metković, Ploče and Rogotin. If you find yourself there in August, make sure you attend the annually held Maraton Lađa Rowing event, a race contested by traditional
lađa vessels that were used in the 10th century by pirates terrorising the region.
DOMESTICATED WITH DIOCLETIAN A little island-hopping away from Dubrovnik, along the scenic Dalmatian Coast, is Split, the second biggest city of Croatia, which is known by many as the ‘Mediterranean flower’ due to a warm climate that boasts 2,800 hours of sunlight each year. It is not only a vibrant modern city and port with ancient roots, but it is also the site of a UNESCO World Heritage Site , the Palace of Diocletian. There are few places in the world where one can get to imagine what it would have been like to live in a Roman emperor’s palace. Fronting the harbour, the Diocletian Palace was built in the fourth century AD when the Roman Emperor Diocletian retired and decided to build an impressive residence in his native Dalmatia. The palace’s hallways make up the core of medieval Split. Even after so many centuries, it is incredible that much of the original Roman building has survived with the dome, columns, capitals, and finely carved reliefs all perfectly preserved.
CROATIAN CUISINE • Croatian cuisine varies a lot: from Mediterranean staples such as quality fish and olive oil, to the mainland fare in which Austro-Hungarian influences abound in the various goulashes, and not forgetting the distinctly Italian taste of the northwest. • It’s fair to say that the regions of Istria, Dalmatia, Dubrovnik, Lika, Gorski Kotar, Zagorje, Međimurje, Podravina and Slavonija all have their own distinctive cuisines.
KLAPA ALONG IN THE STREET Walking along the picturesque streets of the Dalmatian coastal towns often brings the musical joy of encountering some Klapa singing – intimate Croatian songs traditionally sung a capella by groups of friends, which has been an UNESCO intangible cultural heritage since 2012. Traditionally it is men who sing the songs, grouped in a semicircle of five to ten singers, led by the first tenor. However, in the past few years, women have started bringing diversity in the music tradition. Typically sung with romantic or nostalgic lyrics about everyday situations, local habits and love, klapa touches the hearts of locals and also foreigners, who were introduced to the sound at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. Accordingly, most towns now have their own choirs, and performances can be found all year round, although summer is still the best time to appreciate them.
CHILLAX LIKE CRUSOE As the author of the play ‘My Fair Lady’ was based upon, George Bernard Shaw knew a thing about diamonds in the rough. After visiting a certain part of the Adriatic in 1929, he wrote: “On the last day of creation, God desired to crown his work and thus created the Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath.” And there will be no tears shed over social media posts here, as Croatia is drumming up quite a trade by offering people the chance to isolate themselves from the modern world and experience primitive simplicity. The Kornati archipelago offers cottages with
neither electricity nor running water, leaving you to explore the islands like a modern Robinson Crusoe. A boat from Murter drops you off and then picks you up a week later. Either bring your own food or sustain your stay by fishing for your supper in the numerous rocky coves offering complete peace and seclusion. In total the Kornati National Park consists of 154 islands, of which only a few are permanently inhabited, covering an area of 320 sq km off the coast of the northern part of Dalmatia. It can also be visited from Zadar, Sibenik or Split on one-day tours.
A PERFECT STORM OF NATURE Enjoy mesmerising waterfalls and lakes with dazzlingly distinctive shades of green and blue in central Croatia, just a two-hour drive from Zagreb.
• Eat frog’s legs in the Neretva Valley! The amphibian delicacy is a long-established culinary tradition. • Try the black risotto, ‘crni rižot’, on the Dalmation coast: squid is cooked in its own ink and sometimes combined with other seafood, such as mussels and clams. Wash your teeth and lips afterwards, as they will probably turn black! • Fuži is a popular handmade pasta found in Istria. Shaped like a quill, it is often served with mushrooms, truffles, chicken or beef stew. The hand-rolled pasta pljukanci is also a popular choice. • Added to the country’s intangible cultural heritage list in 2007, no special occasion is complete without a serving of the doughy dessert Zagorski Štrukli. Needless to say, the Crotaian Embassy served it at its event on January 15 to officially begin its EU Presidency. Dobar Tek!
Described by many as an outstanding natural gem, the site offers visitors numerous cycling trails around its forests, meadows, natural lakes and waterfalls. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park (Nacionalni park Plitvička Jezera) is Croatia’s largest national park and one of the oldest in southern Europe. Often referred to by naturalists as a ‘perfect storm’ of geological, climatic and biological features, this diverse landscape has been naturally created over time. In total there are 16 terraced lakes with distinctive water colours, ranging from emerald green to deep blue. The tranquil park offers a memorable experience, regardless of whether you are a nature lover or not. CROATIA SUPPLEMENT
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Beyond being the capital of ‘Game of Thrones’ and its enviable nature and sports ability, the EU’s latest addition is bursting with possibil...
Published on Feb 5, 2020
Beyond being the capital of ‘Game of Thrones’ and its enviable nature and sports ability, the EU’s latest addition is bursting with possibil...